Photo Credit: Charles Krupa (AP Photo)
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and those lyrics ring true for the Bruins. As the Bruins climb up the standings, it’s time for us to look at who should be getting lots of presents this year, and who should be getting coal in their stockings.
- Brad Marchand – He’s not only on the Nice list for being in the MVP talk last year, but because he hasn’t been suspended/fined so far this year, and that’s pretty good for him. It was a great year for him play-wise, and he continues to amaze every game. He’s currently tied for 17th in goals with 15 in 26 games.
- Don Sweeney/Hockey Ops Team – The front office is having a great year with all the young players making the roster. Players like Heinen, Carlo, and McAvoy are becoming reliable players in the lineup. All credit to them for letting them develop and finally giving them a shot at the NHL when the time was right.
- David Pastrnak/His Agent – The contract that Pastrnak took was incredible for the Bruins. With five contracts of $6 million+, the Bruins had very little wiggle room to give the young star the money that he deserved. But he took a very team friendly deal, and that helped the Bruins a lot this year. Good on Pasta.
- Anton Khudobin – As of his last game on December 19th, Khudobin is 8-2-2, and a big reason why this team is still in the position that they are. An example of this was the four-game win streak he went on against LA, San Jose, New Jersey and Pittsburgh, all current playoff teams.
- Rene Rancourt – I just love this guy. What a legend he is. Still belting out the anthems at the age of 78, He’s been singing for the Bruins for over 40 years now, and rocking it ever night. He always gets me fired up before games.
- The Ottawa Senators, Mainly Erik Karlsson – I’m still angry that the Bruins lost that series. All the games were decided by one goal, and that was with pretty much all of the Bruins defensemen injured. This goal was on every highlight reel for a month. It still haunts me.
- Leon Draisaitl/Peter Chiarelli – After Leon signed his eight-year contract worth $8.5 mill. per year, everyone thought that this move meant that Pastrnak, unsigned at the time, would end up getting a contract very similar to his. Fortunately, this wasn’t the case, but for awhile there was panic in the Boston media that the Bruins would have to give Pastrnak a close match to the contract.
- Kevan Miller – Miller has four fighting majors this year, with a total of 54 PIMs, good for 10th most in the NHL. From the fights we’ve seen in his career, he is not someone you want to mess with. He may not deserve coal this year, but he definitely isn’t nice on the ice to play against. Here’s an example of one of his fights from earlier in the year.
- People Who Had “Trade Rask” Hot Takes – At one point in time this season, a “Trade Tuukka” opinion wasn’t absurd. But reflecting on it now, it seems a bit ridiculous. Rask is a 30-year-old goalie with four years left on a contract worth $7 million per year, along with a Modified No Move Clause. And at the time Rask was in a rut. What team would want to take that on? Goalies will always be streaky, and that’s just something that fans and the media need to remember. There is a place in sports media for criticism, but ragging on a goalie when he opened the season at 1-3-3 isn’t the answer. It’s really fun to look back at those tweets/articles and have a good chuckle.
Hopefully, everyone has a great holiday. Eat some good food. Watch some sports. Relax. And have a great New Year.
Sources: NHL.com, CapFriendly.com, ESPN.com